1: We started dating in the 8th grade. Who would have thought that a Jr. High relationship would have lasted the test of time. Things started with simple conversations on the soccer field, which led to messaging on the computer at night, then evolved to many mall outings and "home dates". A typical childhood love turned out to be a very atypical situation. We've learned so much from each other since day 1 and haven't stopped yet....
2: Eighteen Months. Eighteen Months is how long we took to plan the most wonderful day of our life. We “officially” got engaged sometime in June 2008. Neither one of us remembers the exact date we decided to actively call ourselves engaged. But we do remember the events & conversations surrounding our “engagement”. We had spent the weekend in Katy, celebrating Anna’s moms birthday, but then had to drive back to Tyler late Sunday afternoon . Sometime during our drive (somewhere between Conroe & Buffalo) the following conversation took place: Josh: So you ready to pick a date? Anna: A Date? For What? Josh: I figured it's time we start planning our wedding. Anna: Really?? Start planning?? Josh: Yep. I think it's time. By the time we made it back to Tyler we'd already picked a tentative date for the wedding & began planning our next moves. Including: picking a ring, telling family members (who were excited but not surprised) , graduating college, and so on and so on. This day became the start our 18 month long engagement. | Our attempt at a | Proposal
3: Who doesn't love some ring bling ?!? We took nearly 2 months trying to pick the perfect one. Originally Anna thought she knew exactly what she wanted (a large pearl solitaire), but that was until Josh’s parents (Mike & Sue) generously offered us a beautiful diamond to use however we wanted. This diamond originally belonged to Mike’s grandfather ( ______) who purchased a large ring in (_____). That ring was the center diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds and then had ruby banquettes down the sides. We love having this piece of history in our life. And it will be a wonderful story to share for years to come.
4: We had our wedding shower many months before the big day. It just wouldn't have been a party without having A.B. (Aunt Beth) around to celebrate with us. So we went ahead and Showered away July _____, 2009. The day before the party Anna, Sue, Beth and AB went to Phonicia (fancy meditteranian grocery store) and shopped for all our food needs. Then our shower day arrived. Anna’s best lady friends Brittany and Rebecca were able to make it into town for the celebration. AB made very yummy food (including seafood salad & a decadent chocolate bread pudding), Susie set up her house so beautifully with matching plates and napkins, and Beth brought in the move lovely flower arrangements (because Anna LOVES her flowers). It was so nice to see so many loving ladies be able to come including Susies stitch-and-bitch friends, scout ladies, and all the family members who could make it. It was such a wonderful day full of smiles, presents, and of course lots of love and laughter. | Shower Time
5: Pre-Wedding Activities
6: Practice Makes Perfect...
7: Our rehearsal & dinner was held on December 26,2009. Family and friends had been arriving all day long and by 5 o'clock it was finally time to party. We quickly ran through our ceremony & set up over at Tuscany Villa so we could head over to Pasta Lomonte's. As usual our food was amazing, our friends were a delight, and our mom's had tears in their eyes. It was perfection.
8: The Details Anna is one of those girls who LOVES her details. She had a blast in choosing everything from the brown overlays (that sorta looked oddsey up close), to the gold chargers, to the flowers that went on forever. Anna's hope was to make it look like "a secret garden" and we came pretty darn to perfect! The florals included garden rose, white hydrangea, queen Anne's lace, ivy, spray roses, and even orchids. Anna couldn't have been more happy. And look... do you see all those fun craft projects that the girls worked on for month. Everything was hand made... invitations, menu's, programs, & those beautiful cork place cards.
10: Gettin' Pretty
11: Anna & the girls got to Tuscany Villa at 9 am to start to beautification process. We all got hair & makeup done and had fun getting pampered. The boys even brought mimosas up to our room. The final steps of “getting pretty” included last minute lip gloss for us all, a leg shave by Olivia, and slippin’ in the heavy dress for Anna.
12: Oooh La La | A “traditional” garter was just out of the question. I wanted something pink ruffly! This meant handmade. And having one wasn't good enough, I wanted two. So we made the perfect set. Too bad after going through all the trouble of making a set I didn't want to wear it. About 2 minutes after putting them on, I took them right back off. Too Itchy!! I hear Joe kept them in his pocket for me until it was time for the garter toss.
13: Time to Become Mr. & Mrs
15: We opted to do what is commonly referred to as a “first look”. Basically, we saw each other before the ceremony ::gasp::. Our thought “Who cares about tradition. It’s better for us.” So prior to our Ketubah signing we met outside, just the two of us (and our 2 photographers & videographer) & spent a few minutes together before the “craziness” began | Take a Look at me Now
16: Huttenhoff's We couldn't believe it... All the Huttenhoff boys together in one place (especially in December). This year all 4 of those Huttenhoff boys decided it would be a nice treat for the family to not attend Winter Camp (which is the normal post-Christmas activity). But they knew they couldn't miss the addition to another boy joining the family. In addition to having an amazing time rockin the dance floor the boys did a wonderful job building the Chuppah for Josh & Anna. And it came out perfect.
17: Skalka's The Skalka Boys spent the wedding day doing what they do best... laughing, playing, drinking, and of course giving Josh grief about getting married. Of course it was all in good fun, as the Skalka's were very excited to welcome the 1st girl to their family since 1975. It is not often that all 5 Skalka Men are in the same place at the same time and even less often that they get pictures together. A wedding was the perfect opportunity to celebrate together (and be photographed together)
18: Bridal Party Brittany McFadden (Maid of Honor), Oilivia Webber, Rebecca Brown, John Huttenhoff, & Austin Gay
20: Groomsmen Jonny Skalka (Best Man), Ben Skalka, Dates Skalka, Whitney Yates, James Balandran, Jacob Garner
22: Liza Love | Merrill Family
27: Our goal for the ceremony was to have everything as simple but as meaningful as possible. We created the most beautiful space to be wed under. Our chuppah has built by Anna's dad and brothers while it's covering was created by her mom and Grandma Walsh. The covering is made of leftover material from Anna's mom's wedding dress which was a beautiful white organza with white flowers applicaed to it. And our wine glasses belong to Josh's parents. And we oped to purchase large pillar candles for our unity candle so they can be lit in our home for many years to come. Not a single detail was overlooked including saying our vows just as the sun was setting behind us. It was simply perfection!